MATS A, Week 1: Bolt Fabric


The first week of MATS (Make Art That Sells) Part A went really, really well.  I was so anxious and scared to begin with, but I felt right at home illustrating the mini, and then later the actual assignment.  My fellow classmates were super supportive, and their work is really great!  It's awesome to see what others are doing and it helps me to figure out what to tweak next.  I see how they handle certain elements within a design and it sparks a solution in me.  Lots of zeitgeist, enthusiasm, feedback, and visual inspiration!

I also like that the turnaround times are short in order to force me not to spin my wheels.  I have the tendency to overthink things if given too much time.  The deadlines of the course plus the unpredictability of the baby's toddler's schedule make for a nice sense of urgency that makes me productive!  This past Thursday night I turned in my final, and here's what it looks like...

This was the layout that I turned in, and I'd like to change certain elements moving forward, but I'm happy with the overall direction I chose.  Our mini theme was "pretty peppers and pyrex" and then the big assignment was "vintage kitchen" as the target niche.  I kind of tweaked the theme to "I love Tex Mex please join me in celebrating my love for enchiladas through the lens of 1972."

As many of you who know me already know, I lived in Texas for a few years and my husband is Texan.  His family live in the southwest and we visit nearly every year.  Here in Germany, Tex-Mex can be found, but it's not the same.  When I visit TX and NM, the food is something I enjoy very, very much (I nearly went with vintage + BBQ!).

Interestingly enough, living in Germany for so long seems to have rubbed off on me.  One of the coordinates ended up looking like one of my favorite traditional dirndl fabrics (the green/white one on the lower right).  I think it would be really cool to have a dirndl with chiles on the bodice or apron!!

Mini: peppers n' pyrex
Original Mood-board

first linocut in over 10 years!

To give you a breakdown of what I was working with, I scanned in my images and isolated roughly 80 to 90 individual icons. Once the additional category of "vintage kitchen" was given, I shopped among them for the most appropriate ones.  I had already digitized them, but not yet colored them.  Next, I added textures, finessed the little details... but there's always more to do.  If anything, I've already learned that.  The details make or break the illustration.

Thoughts on Week 1 Course Materials
I found the break-down of the assignment to be very helpful.  I love the act of chunking the work into tasty morsels, and so the structure of the class suits me well.  Most days we had a post to read, an interview to watch, skills to learn and/or industry tips and tricks to absorb.

The information given in the class materials is really specific and valuable.  This past week there were even additional workshop materials from the Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design course that I considered taking.  I think I'm in the right place because I already have a pretty good understanding of the technical aspects of making a repeat through my background experience with Illustrator and the Creative Live, Skillshare classes from Bonnie Christine and Elizabeth Olwen, and the books I read on pattern design.

But, the interview with an industry professional was invaluable.  So was the style analysis worksheet and Lilla's advice.  In short, I'm so glad to be taking this course.  It's exactly what I needed!
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